Darkthrone
Ravishing Grimness


3.0
good

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
October 12th, 2012 | 85 replies | 4,757 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


The mid-era Darkthrone period is mostly a forgettable one. Panzerfaust was the last of the band’s typical black metal albums before they began their slow transformation into a black metal influenced crust punk band. Surprisingly, 1999’s Ravishing Grimness holds quite well on it’s own, sounding less like a transition album and more like an attempt at capturing what made them special in the first place. In Darkthrone’s case, it was honesty. They knew they weren’t the same evil guys that put out the ice cold Transylvanian Hunger and they realized that trying to put out the same album multiple times never works. Ravishing Grimness shows an experimental side of Darkthrone; still trying to be being honest to their black metal roots while branching out into a fun sound that would define themselves in later albums.

The album begins on a negative note. “Lifeless” is described perfectly by its song title - lifeless. The vocals are decent but the songwriting is bland, the riffs are lazy, and the drums are akin to that of AC/DC (which obviously is not a compliment). Thankfully the album picks up a little bit in the next track, “The Beast,” in which Darkthrone pull a black ‘n’ roll style riff about a minute in. “The Claws of Time” is definitely the highlight of the album though, starting with an optimistic sounding riff before closing with one of the best outros of their career. The title track is another track pick, having riffs that could've been B-sides off an early Burzum album. Still even the weaker songs have some redeemable qualities. “Across the Vacuum,” for one, starts off with one of Darkthrone’s most uninspired, disjointed riffs made worse by half-assed blast beating by Fenriz, but picks up some momentum half way through the song when atmosphere takes over instead of the riffs - much like the rest of the good moments on the album.

In fact, that’s one of the few things Ravishing Grimness has going for it: atmosphere. The production on this album is easily the best out of their mid-era albums; the guitars have a bleakness to them that was lacking on Hate Them and Plaguewielder, and the production isn’t as outright terrible as it was on Total Death and Sardonic Wrath, and this atmosphere actually makes some of the bad riffs on the album, well, not that bad. The beginning of “The Claws of Time” would sound downright cheesy with Plaguewielder’s dry production but the fullness of the guitars here make it sound almost hopeful, something pretty rare in the genre. The atmosphere also helps “To the Death (Under the King),” the fastest song on the album, sound like an actual black metal song as opposed to a bland proto-thrash metal band’s attempt at black metal.

Despite all its positives, Ravishing Grimness simply feels like a lazy effort. It was the inevitable start of the band running out of steam, only to be confirmed by their next release. But aside from the fairly uninspired song writing and cliché lyircs, Ravishing Grimness has enough redeemable qualities to make it a worthy spin to any Darkthrone or metal fan in general.



Recent reviews by this author
Within the Ruins PhenomenaSonic Syndicate Sonic Syndicate
Origin OmnipresentMuse Dead Star/In Your World
Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2Black Tongue Born Hanged
user ratings (116)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

felt like this needed a review

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

Ire
October 12th 2012



41747 Comments


dece album

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

cute

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

on the internet? nah im about to green out maybe tomorrow.. raincheck?

Mordecai.
October 12th 2012



8270 Comments


yeh solid review. I have a soft spot for this album, especially Claws of Time. Still, not nearly as grimm as Panzerfaust

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

agreed. none of their mid-era albums compare to panzerfaust or anything before, but theyre still a fun listen.

Mordecai.
October 12th 2012



8270 Comments


I like their crust stuff though, especially Cult is Alive and Circle the Wagons

JF Williams
October 12th 2012



51 Comments


You seem to flip flop your opinion of the album - in the first paragraph it's an "honest" album that "holds quite well on
its own", and in the last its "lazy" and "uninspired".

Otherwise it's a pretty solid review, I suppose work on keeping your thesis consistent next time. Aside from that I'll have
to give this a listen; I love their early albums and their most recent, but their mid-era stuff I've largely avoided for many
of the reasons you've outlined in this review.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thats true. i meant it more like it was their attempt at an honest album but falling short, i should probably make that more clear.

this album is decent though. id recommend at least listening to the claws of time and the title track

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

edited the first paragraph a bit

KILL
October 12th 2012



70573 Comments


cool review

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thank you sir

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yay another neg

Ire
October 12th 2012



41747 Comments


didnt kno u liked them have another

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thx

breakfastnugz420
October 12th 2012



7 Comments


there u go

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



20632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

if youre gonna neg at least tell me why


Ire
October 12th 2012



41747 Comments


cos ur username

KILL
October 12th 2012



70573 Comments


yea dude you built a reputation for yourself like me i always get negs too dw you get used to it it rules after a while

Ire
October 12th 2012



41747 Comments


yea!



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy